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Mar-14-2016 17:52printcomments

Why Vegan Foods are 2016's Top Trend in the Restaurant Industry

Veganism is both a practice and a philosophy.

vegetarian food
Leek and bean cassoulet
Courtesy: Veganomicon (The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook)

(SALEM, Ore.) - In recent years, the restaurant industry has experienced a significant amount of change with various popular movements related to ideas about food.

Trends like locally grown and sourced foods, fusions of multiple cuisines, molecular gastronomy, and organic diets are giving consumers more choices. These trends also reflect a changing customer who is more informed about ingredients, more cognizant of the planet, and more aware of the process of the culinary trade.

One big trend that is expected to rise this year and next is the prevalence of vegan foods in more typical dining settings.

Hormone Usage Concern

Patrons today are truly worried about the amount of hormones running through the meat that is produced by various processors.

When making choices about what they may feed their families and themselves, diners are more likely to avoid conventionally prepared meats and opt for hormone and antibiotic free ingredients.

There is concern about the future health effects of these drugs when it comes to growth and resistance to infection. One method of avoidance of these types of foods is to select more vegan offerings.

Local Farms Support

Another reason why veganism is on the rise in the restaurant setting is its connection to local farmers’ markets. Locally grown food continues to be a popular trend among eaters. Vegan choices can support a variety of produce selections that are grown within the geographic area in season.

Beef Pricing Increases

One more problem that comes with having a diet that is centered on animal products is the price.

The general public continues to experience larger grocery bills, much of it due to costlier beef. Beef and other animal products are typically more expensive than plant based ingredients.

Vegans and vegetarians can avoid this increase and enjoy spending much less at the grocery store. Food establishments are finding out ways to employ veganism in their menu as well to help reduce costs.

Healthy Lifestyle Encouragement

Additionally, today’s society often seeks ways to make healthy lifestyle choices. A vegan diet helps maintain a lower body fat percentage as well as a reduced chance of diabetes and heart disease.

Eating more fruits, vegetables and legumes can give individuals more exposure to healthful antioxidants that may lower the risk for developing cancer.

Environmental Responsibility

Vegan diners are also aware of how certain types of food industries are affecting the environment. Studies have shown that switching to a vegan diet can help reduce one’s carbon footprint significantly. Animal food processing requires much more fossil fuel usage than growing fruits or vegetables.

Land Sustainability

The average vegan customer these days may also be concerned about the growing world population and the shrinking availability of land. The consumer wants to make food choices for his or her family that are going to be sustainable, like veganism is.

Growing food requires much less land than the typical amount of acreage that raising animals necessitates. In a world that is experiencing major anxieties about land accessibility, this can be an important issue to many people.

Recipe Reformulations

With all of these global and personal issues that stem from animal based foods, the grocery store food product sector has reacted by making changes to some of the most popular products.

Well-known brands and items that have been in kept in kitchen cabinets for decades have been reformulated to remove animal based ingredients such as gelatin, lard, and whey to reflect changing consumer attitudes. Now the vegan shopper can truly have variety and choice in his or her menu.

Option Expansion

Because of the expansion of vegan products in the supermarket and the continued demand for food staples that support this lifestyle, more companies are introducing vegan friendly items that taste great and are truly for all eaters.

Just Mayo Hampton Creek is an egg free mayonnaise that is produced by responsible food purveyor Hampton Creek. This start up company is increasingly infiltrating the conventional restaurant supply chain with new ingredients that are vegan and earth friendly.

Millennial Movement

The truth is that the millennial generation, who are willing and ready to spend their money dining out, is more likely to embrace the vegan lifestyle.

The millennials want to make better choices that support their own health and the health of the earth in order to not make the same mistakes that they’ve seen from their parents.

Dining establishments that don’t capitalize on this growing market segment may be missing a huge opportunity.

Revenue Opportunity

New and established restaurants are finding out more and more that paying attention to the larger role of the vegan diet is a good business move. Whether it’s adjusting your menu to offer more vegan friendly dishes or revisiting your supply list and adding popular vegan brands, successful restaurant owners shouldn’t ignore this important group of paying customers.

The popular vegan food revolution isn’t going anywhere for a while. In the next few years, this market share may continue to grow making veganism more accepted in all restaurants and homes around the world.

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Leon March 9, 2017 11:25 am (Pacific time)

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Anonymous March 16, 2016 6:47 am (Pacific time)

I've been vegan for more than 23 years and I love that so many restaurants are now offering more vegan options. My family and I stopped at TCBY for vegan fro-yo recently. I didn't go there for the more than 20 years when they didn't have vegan fro-yo. It's a smart business decision on restaurants' part.

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©2017 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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